In the film it has been ten years since Lecter escaped from prison. He is now living in Italy as a Renaissance scholar named Dr. Fell. However, he is eager to come out of "retirement". The heroine of LAMBS, Clarice Starling, has been publicly humiliated by a botched drug raid and is put back on the Lecter case after the Justice Department gains new information concerning the cannibal's whereabouts. Starling chases the lead and the game begins anew.
Anthony Hopkins is wonderful as Lecter and Julianne Moore fills Jodie Foster's shoes well as Starling. Ridley Scott's direction is once again masterful and the other performances and crafts of the rest of the cast and crew are just as excellent.
With that said, HANNIBAL is a major disappointment. The movie starts off suspenseful, but soon falls into predictability. Sure there are a few gory twists and turns, but you know Lecter is going to escape and that he won't harm Clarice.
The movie started a controversy because of the violent, campy, gore. Certain individuals will want to see it just for those "cool" scenes. However, as much as I like Anthony Hopkins and as intriguing a character Hannibal Lecter is, the movie was a big let down. Just not enough substance.
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Taking the basic plot contraptions from Thomas Harris's baroque novel, Hannibal is so stylistically different from its predecessor that it forces you to take it on its own terms. Director Ridley Scott gives the film a sleek, almost European look that lets you know that, unlike the first film (which was about the quintessentially American Clarice), this movie is all Hannibal. Does it work? Yes--but only up to a point. Scott adeptly sets up an atmosphere of foreboding, but it's all buildup for anticlimax, as Verger's plot for abducting Hannibal (and feeding him to man-eating wild boars) doesn't ...